Land of the Free?
Now that Barack Obama has been sworn in for his second term as President of the United States, whether you personally accept him as president or not, this will be the starting point for me to try to explain some fundamental flaws in this system and why it is imperative we point them out and continue to work for positive change. The United States was intended to function as a constitutional republic (technically, compound constitutional republics, both federal and state), operated with some democratic traditions. Basically, citizens were to choose other citizens for public service by representing the geographic area and population in which they lived, and the processes by which this representation would function have been works in progress from day one. For instance, many people will argue that George Washington’s stepping down after his second term was one of the greatest accomplishments he, or any other man, had ever achieved, since his refusal to retain that top executive position in the new government led to a peaceful transition of power.
George Washington sets the pattern
After Washington, most presidents respected the standing practice of not running for a third term, and although a few presidents did run unsuccessfully for a third term, it was not until Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency that the two-term limitation was broken. FDR was the first president to not only win a third election, but also a fourth. His fourth term did not last long, however, as he died while in office on April 12, 1945, just a few months after his fourth inauguration. Less than two years later, the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified by the states, thus placing a two-term limit upon anyone occupying that high office. That ratification occurred merely 66 years ago, and it seems to be a perfect example of how we cannot count on tradition in the political arena to maintain our freedom.
Surely, since the beginning of time, men have looked to control other men. There are not many guarantees in this world, but that is certainly one of them. Another is that most people have always wanted freedom and prosperity, although history has shown that these rarely become a reality, as most societies eventually succumbed to statism — whatever term the particular era called it — and its common results: the establishment of a relatively few people at the top of a hierarchical system who take advantage of the majority of the people and keep them “in line” by means of force, violence, and the creation of fear. So, if it hasn’t become apparent yet, this tyranny will soon come full circle here in America. Despite all the warnings that were sent through time to the present day to alert us, despite the great effort which our Founding Founders exerted to ensure our freedoms could not be usurped and taken from us, nevertheless, freedom has — as it always does — disappeared.
In order to effectively advocate for the concept of freedom, one must truly understand it. Freedom is being able to live your life as you deem fit without anybody, any institution, or any government telling you what you can and cannot do. Freedom also entails responsibility, that being that no person should infringe on another person’s natural rights by means of force, fraud, or coercion. Following that, a true free market, best modeled and understood by the so-called Austrian school of economics, would dictate fairness in the exchange of goods and services and obeying the laws of supply and demand, among others, to enable a smooth-running society. As you can see, we have drifted so far from that state of affairs that I think it would be difficult for any informed person to actually make the argument that we are, in fact, free. We have “representatives” that are not bound in any way to actually represent the people, and, at the very best, they would only be speaking on behalf of a small percentage of those very citizens. When these “elected representatives” break their word to their constituents, as most do, what recourse can we actually pursue? Wait another two, four, or six years and hope for something better while each day that goes by brings the creation of more laws and yet more rules and regulations to be followed? I’m well aware of the arguments. One often heard is that we enjoy more freedoms than any other country, but with more of our population incarcerated than any other country on the planet (by percentage of the population as well as absolute numbers), I think there’s wide room for debate on this claim. Not only that, but my standards of freedom are not based on those reluctantly permitted in a third world tin-pot dictatorship. I demand more, and so should you.
The left/right paradigm
When it comes to your political beliefs, I know the system wants you to conclude that you only have two viable choices, and that you have to compromise your principles in order to beat the “lesser of two evils.” With the Union in the shape it is, tell me, where has that gotten us? These major — or, legacy — parties are in actuality two heads of the same monster, the same two-winged bird of prey, and their ultimate goal is control. It should be pretty obvious to anyone at this point that they do give the impression of control, but resist the temptation to affirm that perception. They would prefer to control your mind because then everything else will follow. So, don’t submit your mind to them, rather, ask questions, demand answers, and together we will continue to strive for a better future based on the principles of freedom.